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Best Famous Charles Baudelaire Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Charles Baudelaire poems. This is a select list of the best famous Charles Baudelaire poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Charles Baudelaire poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Charles Baudelaire poems.

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Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 CARRYING bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves, 
Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves 
With all the careless and high-stepping grace, 
And the extravagant courtesan's thin face.
Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed? Her floating robe, in royal amplitude, Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.
The swarms that hum about her collar-bones As the lascivious streams caress the stones, Conceal from every scornful jest that flies, Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways, Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
O charm of nothing decked in folly! they Who laugh and name you a Caricature, They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure, The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone, That is most dear to me, tall skeleton! Come you to trouble with your potent sneer The feast of Life! or are you driven here, To Pleasure's Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir And goad your moving corpse on with a spur? Or do you hope, when sing the violins, And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins, To drive some mocking nightmare far apart, And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart? Fathomless well of fault and foolishness! Eternal alembic of antique distress! Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.
And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find, Among us here, no lover to your mind; Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave? The charms of horror please none but the brave.
Your eyes' black gulf, where awful broodings stir, Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath, The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.
For he who has not folded in his arms A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms, Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent, When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.
O irresistible, with fleshless face, Say to these dancers in their dazzled race: "Proud lovers with the paint above your bones, Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons! Withered Antino?s, dandies with plump faces, Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces, Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath, Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.
From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream, The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream; They do not see, within the opened sky, The Angel's sinister trumpet raised on high.
In every clime and under every sun, Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run; And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye And mingles with your madness, irony!"

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Get Drunk

Always be drunk.
That's it! The great imperative! In order not to feel Time's horrid fardel bruise your shoulders, grinding you into the earth, get drunk and stay that way.
On what? On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up on the porches of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch, in the dismal loneliness of your own room, your drunkenness gone or disappearing, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, ask everything that flees, everything that groans or rolls or sings, everything that speaks, ask what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will answer you: "Time to get drunk! Don't be martyred slaves of Time, Get drunk! Stay drunk! On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!"

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

The Sick Muse

 My impoverished muse, alas! What have you for me this morning? 
Your empty eyes are stocked with nocturnal visions, 
In your cheek's cold and taciturn reflection, 
I see insanity and horror forming.
The green succubus and the red urchin, Have they poured you fear and love from their urns? The nightmare of a mutinous fist that despotically turns, Does it drown you at the bottom of a loch beyond searching? I wish that your breast exhaled the scent of sanity, That your womb of thought was not a tomb more frequently And that your Christian blood flowed around a buoy that was rhythmical, Like the numberless sounds of antique syllables, Where reigns in turn the father of songs, Phoebus, and the great Pan, the harvest sovereign.

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Written by Charles Baudelaire |

I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago

 I love the naked ages long ago 
When statues were gilded by Apollo, 
When men and women of agility 
Could play without lies and anxiety, 
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines, 
As it exercised its noble machine.
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then, Would not place on her daughters a burden, But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people, Would feed creation from her brown nipples.
Men, elegant and strong, would have the right To be proud to have beauty named their king; Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking, Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite! The Poet today, when he would convey This native grandeur, would not be swept away By man free and woman natural, But would feel darkness envelop his soul Before this black tableau full of loathing.
O malformed monsters crying for clothing! O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise! O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size, Children that the god of the Useful swaths In the language of bronze and brass! And women, alas! You shadow your heredity, You gnaw nourishment from debauchery, A virgin holds maternal lechery And all the horrors of fecundity! We have, it is true, corrupt nations, Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients: Faces that gnaw through the heart's cankers, And talk with the cool beauty of languor; But these inventions of our backward muses Are never hindered in their morbid uses Of the old for profound homage to youth, —To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth, To the eye as limpid as the water current, To spread out over all, insouciant Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers, Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Au Lecteur

 La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine.
Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches; Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux, Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux, Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches.
Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est Satan Trismégiste Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté, Et le riche métal de notre volonté Est tout vaporisé par ce savant chimiste.
C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent! Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas; Chaque jour vers l'Enfer nous descendons d'un pas, Sans horreur, à travers des ténèbres qui puent.
Ainsi qu'un débauché pauvre qui baise et mange Le sein martyrisé d'une antique catin, Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange.
Serré, fourmillant comme un million d'helminthes, Dans nos cerveaux ribote un peuple de démons, Et quand nous respirons, la Mort dans nos poumons Descend, fleuve invisible, avec de sourdes plaintes.
Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie, N'ont pas encore brodé de leurs plaisants dessins Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins, C'est que notre âme, hélas! n'est pas assez hardie.
Mais parmi les chacals, les panthères, les lices, Les singes, les scorpions, les vautours, les serpents, Les monstres glapissants, hurlants, grognants, rampants, Dans la ménagerie infâme de nos vices, Il en est un plus laid, plus méchant, plus immonde! Quoiqu'il ne pousse ni grands gestes, ni grands cris, Il ferait volontiers de la terre un débris Et dans un bâillement avalerait le monde.
C'est l'Ennui!- L'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire, Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat, --Hypocrite lecteur, --mon semblable, --mon frère!

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Spleen (IV)

 Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle
Sur l'esprit gémissant en proie aux longs ennuis,
Et que de l'horizon embrassant tout le cercle
Il nous verse un jour noir plus triste que les nuits; 
Quand la terre est changée en un cachot humide,
Où l'espérance, comme un chauve-souris,
S'en va battant le mur de son aile timide
Et se cognant la tête à des plafonds pourris; 
Quand la pluie étalant ses immenses traînées
D'une vaste prison imite les barreaux,
Et qu'un peuple muet d'infâmes araignées
Vient tendre ses filets au fond de nos cerveaux, 
Des cloches tout à coup sautent avec furie
Et lance vers le ciel un affreux hurlement,
Ainsi que des esprits errants et sans patrie
Qui se mettent à geindre opiniâtrement 
-- Et de longs corbillards, sans tambours ni musique,
Défilent lentement dans mon âme; l'Espoir,
Vaincu, pleure, et l'angoisse atroce, despotique,
Sur mon crâne incliné plante son drapeau noir.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |

Harmonie du Soir

 Voici venir les temps o? vibrant sur sa tige
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige! 
Chaque fleur s'?vapore ainsi qu'un encensoir;
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on afflige;
Valse m?lancolique et langoureux vertige!
Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir.
Le violon fr?mit comme un coeur qu'on afflige, Un coeur tendre qui hait le n?ant vaste et noir! Le ciel est triste et beau comme un grand reposoir; Le soleil s'est noy? dans son sang qui se fige.
Un coeur tendre qui hait le n?ant vaste et noir, Du pass? lumineux receuille tout vestige! Le soleil s'est noy? dans son sang qui se fige .
Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 UNDER the overhanging yews, 
The dark owls sit in solemn state, 
Like stranger gods; by twos and twos 
Their red eyes gleam.
They meditate.
Motionless thus they sit and dream Until that melancholy hour When, with the sun's last fading gleam, The nightly shades assume their power.
From their still attitude the wise Will learn with terror to despise All tumult, movement, and unrest; For he who follows every shade, Carries the memory in his breast, Of each unhappy journey made.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 WHEN Juan sought the subterranean flood, 
And paid his obolus on the Stygian shore, 
Charon, the proud and sombre beggar, stood 
With one strong, vengeful hand on either oar.
With open robes and bodies agonised, Lost women writhed beneath that darkling sky; There were sounds as of victims sacrificed: Behind him all the dark was one long cry.
And Sganarelle, with laughter, claimed his pledge; Don Luis, with trembling finger in the air, Showed to the souls who wandered in the sedge The evil son who scorned his hoary hair.
Shivering with woe, chaste Elvira the while, Near him untrue to all but her till now, Seemed to beseech him for one farewell smile Lit with the sweetness of the first soft vow.
And clad in armour, a tall man of stone Held firm the helm, and clove the gloomy flood; But, staring at the vessel's track alone, Bent on his sword the unmoved hero stood.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 MADONNA, mistress, I would build for thee 
An altar deep in the sad soul of me; 
And in the darkest corner of my heart, 
From mortal hopes and mocking eyes apart, 
Carve of enamelled blue and gold a shrine 
For thee to stand erect in, Image divine! 
And with a mighty Crown thou shalt be crowned 
Wrought of the gold of my smooth Verse, set round 
With starry crystal rhymes; and I will make, 
O mortal maid, a Mantle for thy sake, 
And weave it of my jealousy, a gown 
Heavy, barbaric, stiff, and weighted down 
With my distrust, and broider round the hem 
Not pearls, but all my tears in place of them.
And then thy wavering, trembling robe shall be All the desires that rise and fall in me From mountain-peaks to valleys of repose, Kissing thy lovely body's white and rose.
For thy humiliated feet divine, Of my Respect I'll make thee Slippers fine Which, prisoning them within a gentle fold, Shall keep their imprint like a faithful mould.
And if my art, unwearying and discreet, Can make no Moon of Silver for thy feet To have for Footstool, then thy heel shall rest Upon the snake that gnaws within my breast, Victorious Queen of whom our hope is born! And thou shalt trample down and make a scorn Of the vile reptile swollen up with hate.
And thou shalt see my thoughts, all consecrate, Like candles set before thy flower-strewn shrine, O Queen of Virgins, and the taper-shine Shall glimmer star-like in the vault of blue, With eyes of flame for ever watching you.
While all the love and worship in my sense Will be sweet smoke of myrrh and frankincense.
Ceaselessly up to thee, white peak of snow, My stormy spirit will in vapours go! And last, to make thy drama all complete, That love and cruelty may mix and meet, I, thy remorseful torturer, will take All the Seven Deadly Sins, and from them make In darkest joy, Seven Knives, cruel-edged and keen, And like a juggler choosing, O my Queen, That spot profound whence love and mercy start, I'll plunge them all within thy panting heart!

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 Take me by the hand;
it's so easy for you, Angel,
for you are the road
even while being immobile.
You see, I'm scared no one here will look for me again; I couldn't make use of whatever was given, so they abandoned me.
At first the solitude charmed me like a prelude, but so much music wounded me.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 WHEN with closed eyes in autumn's eves of gold 
I breathe the burning odours of your breast, 
Before my eyes the hills of happy rest 
Bathed in the sun's monotonous fires, unfold.
Islands of Lethe where exotic boughs Bend with their burden of strange fruit bowed down, Where men are upright, maids have never grown Unkind, but bear a light upon their brows.
Led by that perfume to these lands of ease, I see a port where many ships have flown With sails outwearied of the wandering seas; While the faint odours from green tamarisks blown, Float to my soul and in my senses throng, And mingle vaguely with the sailor's song.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 Nature is a temple where the living pillars
Let go sometimes a blurred speech—
A Forest of symbols passes through a man's reach
And observes him with a familiar regard.
Like the distant echoes that mingle and confound In a unity of darkness and quiet Deep as the night, clear as daylight The perfumes, the colors, the sounds correspond.
The perfume is as fresh as the flesh of an infant Sweet as an oboe, green as a prairie —And the others, corrupt, rich and triumphant Enlightened by the things of infinity, Like amber, musk, benzoin and incense That sing, transporting the soul and sense.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 THEY say to me, thy clear and crystal eyes: 
"Why dost thou love me so, strange lover mine?" 
Be sweet, be still! My heart and soul despise 
All save that antique brute-like faith of thine; 

And will not bare the secret of their shame 
To thee whose hand soothes me to slumbers long, 
Nor their black legend write for thee in flame! 
Passion I hate, a spirit does me wrong.
Let us love gently.
Love, from his retreat, Ambushed and shadowy, bends his fatal bow, And I too well his ancient arrows know: Crime, horror, folly.
O pale marguerite, Thou art as I, a bright sun fallen low, O my so white, my so cold Marguerite.

Written by Charles Baudelaire |


 SOFTLY as brown-eyed Angels rove 
I will return to thy alcove, 
And glide upon the night to thee, 
Treading the shadows silently.
And I will give to thee, my own, Kisses as icy as the moon, And the caresses of a snake Cold gliding in the thorny brake.
And when returns the livid morn Thou shalt find all my place forlorn And chilly, till the falling night.
Others would rule by tenderness Over thy life and youthfulness, But I would conquer thee by fright!